I wouldn't live in a colony like that, myself, for a thousand dollars an hour. I wouldn't want it next door. I'm not too happy it's within ten miles. Why? Because their soft-headedness irritates me. Because their beautiful thinking ignores both history and human nature. Because they'd spoil my thing with their thing. Because I don't think any of them is wise enough to play God and create a human society. Look. I like privacy, I don't like crowds, I don't like noise, I don't like anarchy, I don't even like discussion all that much. I prefer study, which is very different from meditation-not better, different. I don't like children who are part of the wild life. So are polecats and rats and other sorts of hostile and untrained vermin. I want to make a distinction between civilization and the wild life. I want a society that will protect the wild life without confusing itself with it.
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APAWallace Stegner Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-wouldnt-live-in-colony-like-that-myself-for-thousand-dollars-hour-i-wouldnt-want-it-next-door-im-not-too-happy-its-within-ten-miles-why-because-their-softheadedness-irritates-m
ChicagoWallace Stegner Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-wouldnt-live-in-colony-like-that-myself-for-thousand-dollars-hour-i-wouldnt-want-it-next-door-im-not-too-happy-its-within-ten-miles-why-because-their-softheadedness-irritates-m, accessed .
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I imagine you will always be pinched for money, for time, for a place to work. But I think you will do it. And believe me, it is not a new problem. You are in good company...Your touch is the uncommon touch; you will speak only to the thoughtful reader. And more times than once you will ask yourself whether such readers really exist at all and why you should go on projecting your words into silence like an old crazy actor playing the part of himself to an empty theater.
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Every book that anyone sets out on is a voyage of discovery that may discover nothing. Any voyager may be lost at sea, like John Cabot. Nobody can teach the geography of the undiscovered. All he can do is encourge the will to explore, plus impress upon the inexperienced a few of the dos and don'ts of voyaging.
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There must be some other possibility than death or lifelong penance ... some meeting, some intersection of lines; and some cowardly, hopeful geometer in my brain tells me it is the angle at which two lines prop each other up, the leaning-together from the vertical which produces the false arch. For lack of a keystone, the false arch may be as much as one can expect in this life. Only the very lucky discover the keystone.
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A western buckaroo, I share his scorn for people who go camping by the book, relying on the authority of some half-assed assistant scoutmaster whose total experience outdoors probably consists of two overnight hikes and a weekend in the Catskills. But we have just had that confrontation. The one who goes by Pritchard's book is Sid's wife, and I am wary. It is not my expedition. I am a guest here.
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What interests me in all these papers is not Susan Burling Ward, the novelist and illustrator, and not Oliver Ward the engineer, and not the West they spend their lives in. What really interests me is how two such unlike particles clung together, and under what strains, rolling downhill into their future until they reached the angle of repose where I knew them. That's where the interest is. That's where the meaning will be if I find any.
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I would like to hear your life as you heard it, coming at you, instead of hearing it as I do, a sober sound of expectations reduced, desires blunted, hopes deferred or abandoned, chances lost, defeats accepted, griefs borne. I don't find your life uninteresting, as Rodman does. I would like to hear it as it sounded while it was passing. Having no future of my own, why shouldn't I look forward to yours.
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